The Only Moving Home Checklist You’ll Ever Need

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It is said that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Of course, relocating is a huge undertaking, and there is a lot to do, but like most things in life, as long as you know what to do and can break that down into manageable chunks, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, having a concise moving house checklist, that you can download or print will make you feel great — it will help you clear your mind as you know it’s written down, and who doesn’t get a dopamine hit from ticking things off a to-do list?!

To help you manage the additional life admin of moving home, in your already busy life, we have drawn on the collective experience of some estate agents, removals companies, relocation experts, and the Lifefyle team to bring you the ultimate simple checklist to help you move house the easy way.

And because we practice what we preach, it’s broken down into 8 key steps to prepare for moving:

Know your new home

Firstly, get to know your new home as much as you can to help you plan and prepare for moving. We are worried by what we don’t know, so arm yourself with as much information as you reasonably can.

Quite rightly, in your first and second viewings before committing to rent or buy the property, you were probably focused on location, size and layout, not how long curtain rails are, but it’s great to get to know the technical side of the house before you move in so that you can make the necessary decisions about what you will need to take with you, or budget for in your first weeks and months of living there.

❏ Confirm what cupboards and storage are in each room

❏ Confirm the fixtures and fittings that are staying in the property

❏ Confirm the location of the gas, electricity and water meters

❏ Confirm the location of the stopcock

❏ Confirm the location and type of thermostat

❏ If network enabled, confirm if door bells, thermostats, alarms etc are staying in the property and:

❏ Ensure you have instructions and guarantee documentation for networked items are staying the property

Your vendors might well let you book in a “measure up” viewing so you can see things for yourself, or you can go through your estate agent or solicitor to find out this information in writing. Knowing what’s where will not only give you peace of mind, but ensure you don’t move things you just don’t need to your new home.

Declutter

Don’t fall into the trap of mindlessly moving stuff you don’t really need from one loft to another. Think of it this way: there’s a good chance you have a loft, cupboard or drawer full of old photographs, clothes that don’t fit right but you think one day they just might, unwanted furniture, the baby stuff, even your old college work… and we want you to really think about why you’re keeping hold of it.

If you’ve not looked at your “keepsakes” and old dissertation in winter, in a lockdown, chances are you never will. If you just move it from one forgotten corner to another, you’re either paying to move and store stuff you don’t need, or you’re putting off sorting out something that will become someone else’s problem one day.

The same applies to that coffee table you’ve always hated, and the manky rug under the dining table. Take your move as an opportunity to declutter what you don’t want or need by doing the following:

❏ Shred anything over 7 years old

❏ Discard out of date warranties and guarantees

❏ Shred old receipts for things you no longer own or which you bought ages ago

❏ Unless it is required for ID, proof of ownership or tax purposes, shred anything over 12 months old

❏ Digitise the paperwork you need & want to keep by scanning it into Lifefyle (e.g. insurance policy documentation, financial statements, mortgage documents etc) and shred the rest

❏ Get a box or concertina file for the paperwork you need to keep in its original form. When you really think about it, this a surprisingly small amount, including:

❏ Passport

❏ Driving licence

❏ Visa / immigration and identity documents

❏ Vehicle ownership & registration docs (V5C)

❏ Certificates for your academic and professional qualifications

❏ Share certificates

❏ Birth, Marriage and Death certificates

❏ Your signed and witnessed Last Will & Testament

❏ Anything else with a wet signature of which your hard copy is the only one!

❏ Take photos of your photos (if you don’t have time there are services that can do this)

❏ Transfer your music and videos to digital formats (again, there are services for this if you’re out of time!)

❏ Donate or sell things you no longer need but that others would find useful

❏ Recycle anything that is past it’s useful life but which is made of reusable materials

Insurance while moving house

This section is fairly straightforward if you’re moving between rental properties, just two tasks for you:

❏ Inform your existing contents insurance provider that you are going to move and either confirm the end date for your existing policy or provide the requisite info about your new address to continue contents cover during and after the move

❏ If using a removals company, confirm their insurance will cover your possessions during the move period

❏ Change your address with all other insurance providers (car insurance; health insurance; life assurance; gadget insurance; pet insurance etc)

❏ If needed, set up a new Contents Insurance policy to start from your moving date at your new address.

Homebuyers may not be aware that once you have exchanged contracts, it is your responsibility to insure the new property.

Here are the list of tasks you need to do to ensure you have adequate insurance for moving:

❏ Inform your existing contents insurance provider that you are going to move and either confirm the end date for your existing policy or provide the requisite info about your new address to continue contents cover during and after the move

❏ If using a removals company, confirm their insurance will cover your possessions during the move period

❏ If needed, set up a new Contents Insurance policy to start from your moving date at your new address

❏ On exchange: cancel the buildings insurance on your current home

❏ On exchange: buy buildings insurance for your new home (remember you will need to provide the number of current occupants, not the number in your family!)

❏ On completion: amend your buildings insurance with the number of people in your family

❏ On completion: if staying with the same Contents Insurance policy, amend your Contents insurance with your new address and to include any fixtures and fitting that come with your new home that may need to be covered

❏ Change your address with all other insurance providers (car insurance; health insurance; life assurance; gadget insurance; pet insurance etc)

Packing, Removals and Storage

Probably the most obvious one but in 2021, with stamp duty reductions in play as part of the Government’s response to the pandemic, there are record numbers of Brits on the move, so as soon as you know your completion date, get your removal company booked, or van hired if you are going to do this yourself!

❏ Book removals company or hire van

❏ Book temporary storage if needed (if possible it’s great to give yourself 24hrs without all your stuff so you can get your new home thoroughly cleaned — see below)

❏ Order packing boxes and tape

❏ Make a list of ‘hand luggage’ items — kettle, mugs, teabags & milk, some food & snacks, pet food, bottled water, vacuum cleaner, cleaning products, loo roll, an overnight bag and bedding) — essentially, the things you will need as soon as you arrive at your new address, and which you can survive on in case there are any surprises on moving day!

❏ Pack hand luggage before Removals arrive

❏ Make a packing list or spreadsheet of EVERYTHING, and where it is going to be moved too. This will help you organise your packed boxes by destination room making it much easier to unpack at the other end

❏ Send packing list to the removal company and / or anyone who is helping you move

❏ Clean as you pack (more on this below, but you don’t want to move dust from one house to another if you can help it!)

Cleaning

When moving out, you are obliged to remove all of your personal possessions and leave the property clear of rubbish. However, whilst it is clearly written within tenancy agreements, for homeowners, the question of how clean you need to leave your house is very much a grey area… which means if you’re buying a house, your vendors aren’t legally responsible for cleaning it for your arrival so we thoroughly recommend getting it thoroughly deep-cleaned throughout before you move your belongings in.

❏ Pack some cleaning items and vacuum cleaner in ‘hand luggage’

❏ Book professional cleaners to new house for completion day afternoon or the day after completion

❏ Book carpet cleaners (if separate from above)

❏ Consider book professional cleaners to your current house a week before completion so you can pack items that are already clean

Utilities & Services to your old address

Before you move, give notice to anyone who provides regular services to your current address, this can include:

❏ Give notice to cleaner(s) and window cleaner

❏ Give notice to gardener

❏ Request refund on specialist waste collections from your council (e.g. garden waste)

Nobody likes paying for stuff they’re not using, so make sure you set some time aside on moving day morning to close down your utilities and services accounts and direct debits from utilities providers. This list should include:

❏ Take final electricity meter reading, close account and supply forwarding address

❏ Take final gas meter reading, close account and supply forwarding address

❏ Take final water meter reading, close account and supply forwarding address

❏ Request and pay final invoice, then close phone, broadband and media account(s)

❏ Request and pay final Council Tax invoice

❏ Cancel security alarm account (if applicable)

Notify others of your change of address

Almost a project in itself, there are a lot of people you need to inform when you move house. Not just so that friends and family can come and have a nosey round celebrate your house-warming, but so that you can keep the rest of your life admin and affairs ticking along smoothly whilst you think about colour schemes and carpets.

Given there are so many things to change, we recommend that you signing up for a mail redirect service so that anything you forget is still delivered to you, and you can change things as and when your redirected mail arrives… but if you want to get a head start, here’s what to do:

❏ Set up Royal Mail Redirect

❏ Change address with Banks, Credit Cards, Lenders and Building Societies

❏ Apply for updated driving licence from the DVLA

❏ Change address with online groceries supplier(s)

❏ Update all insurance policies

❏ Change address with all subscription services (eg. newspapers and magazine, subscription boxes, loyalty cards)

❏ Change address / register with new GP (and any other medical specialists as needed)

❏ Change address / register with new Dentist

❏ Change address / register with new Optician

❏ Let friends and family know your new address (or wait until December and pop a sticker in their Christmas card!)

❏ If you have children, ensure they know their new address in case of emergency

❏ Inform your employer of your new address

❏ Inform childrens’ schools / college / university of new address

❏ Change address on TV licence

Moving with pets

If you think moving house is a big thing for you and your family, imagine what it’s like for your furry friends! You can’t very well sit your cat down and explain that she’s going to have a good few weeks indoors, and a new everything to sniff and claim as her territory!

It’s worth considering if there is someone who can look after your pets for a few days either side of your moving date so that they are out from under your feet, and in the case of outdoor cats, so that you know where they are when you need to leave the building!! Alternatively, if you have the budget, we recommend you book cats and dogs into boarding / kennels for a few days.

Either way, here are the things you need to consider if you’re moving house and you’re a pet owner:

❏ Decide how to keep dogs and cats safe whilst packing and moving (you’re going to be carrying boxes and furniture in and out of the house for possibly a few days so make sure there’s somewhere safe you can leave your pet so they don’t run off!)

❏ Confirm how to transport your pet(s) to their new home

❏ Put a small amount of food, bedding, regular medication if needed, and for cats — a litter tray — in ‘hand luggage’ so that you can find what you need for the first few nights without unpacking everything!

❏ Change address or register with new vet

❏ Update your pet’s microchip with your new address

❏ Update your pet insurance with your new address

So yes, it’s a lot, but it’s an exciting time and very manageable if you just tackle a couple of items each day. You’ve got this!

Best of luck in your new home,

from Lifefyle with love.

The life admin app that frees up your time to do more of what you love. It’s the fastest way to feel calm and in control of your life admin, at your fingertips.